Toasted Angel Food Cake with Laughing Strawberries and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting is light, fluffy, fun and SO yummy! It will easily become a family favorite dessert this summer! Caught you smiling.
“A Party without cake is just a meeting.” – Julia Child
I just love foods that evoke a memory, and my fondness for this Toasted Angel Food Cake with Strawberries does just that. I will always remember long summer days as a child sitting in my Nana’s backyard in a white fabric hammock. Aside from being an amazing home cook and baker, my Nana was also blessed with a green thumb. Even though her yard wasn’t very big, it was a magical place. Why? Well, because there was always an abundance of fruits and vegetables that seemed to regrow overnight.
Nana had apricot trees, plum trees, lemon trees and tons of strawberry plants (just to name a few). She would always grab my hand, put a small white wicker basket in it and say, “Better get to pickin’ little Missy.” And after what seemed like an hour (it was five minutes), we would bring our freshly harvested strawberries into the house and make divine Toasted Angel Food Cake with Strawberries.
The incredible thing about my Nana is she would never measure anything. Do you know anyone like that? I really wish I had copied down the measurements so I could enjoy a lot of her recipes today. But, she was a “pinch of this” and a “dash of that” kind of gal. However, everything always turned out perfectly and this Toasted Angel Food Cake with Strawberries is no exception. It is airy, rich, moist and spongy, yet light as a feather. She would serve it with fresh whipped cream and lovely sliced strawberries. Those were the days!
Now, we come to my take on this delectable recipe. Of course, the first thing I had to include was Laughing Strawberries! These completely edible little fruit darlings will bring a Chuckle to any Curmudgeon. Kids will go absolutely CRAZY for this dessert (and you don’t even have to tell them that it’s healthier than normal cake)! The berries add sweetness to the cake and the lemon cream cheese frosting adds the perfect amount of tartness. Then, you bite into this featherlike cake and taste the toasty, crunchy, caramel-like goodness. Yep, this Toasted Angel Food Cake with Strawberries is a definite keeper. Better get to pickin’ little Missy. Enjoy!
- Angel Food Cake:
- 1¾ cups sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cake flour, sifted
- 12 egg whites, room temperature
- ⅓ cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
- Angel Food Pan or tube pan
- Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1½ (8 oz each) packages cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 (16 oz) package powdered sugar (save 2 tablespoons for below)
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- To Assemble:
- 3 cups berries: sliced strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 6 slices angel food cake (2” thick)
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- Smiling Strawberries Decorations:
- 6 strawberries (do not remove the top)
- Black sugar pearls (Wilton sprinkles for the eyes)
- Decorator Icing (Wilton Stiff Bright White)
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- To make the Angel Food Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place sugar in a food processor and blend for two minutes, until it is superfine.
- In a medium size bowl, combine cake flour, salt and half of the fine sugar. Sift together and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, water, lemon extract and cream of tartar for two minutes. Switch to a hand mixer and gradually add remaining half of the sugar and beat this mixture until medium peaks are formed.
- Sprinkle some of the flour mixture over the top of the egg white mixture. Gently stir in and repeat until all of the flour has been stirred in evenly.
- Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes until golden brown in color and cake is cooked through.
- Cool upside down on a cooling rack for an hour or until completely cooled.
- Once cooled, carefully remove cake from pan, scraping edges from side if needed.
- For the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer on medium speed until creamy and light. Add lemon juice and beat just until blended. Gradually add the powdered sugar on low speed just until blended and then stir in the lemon zest. Set aside.
- To assemble the dessert: In a medium size bowl, combine the berries with 2 tablespoons sugar and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
- Spread butter on the outside of the cake slices. In a large skillet over medium heat, toast the slices on each side until cake is lightly browned, about 1 minute per side (watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn).
- Smiling Strawberries (these can be made ahead of time and refrigerated): To carve a strawberry smile (see diagram above): use a sharp paring knife (PLEASE be careful) and carve a curved smile underneath the eyeball area.
- To make the eyes: Place the 2 tablespoons powdered sugar in a small bowl. Take a tiny (smaller than pea size) amount of stiff frosting (use the powdered sugar on your hands if the frosting gets too sticky) and roll it between your fingers into a small ball, then place it on the strawberry. Make another one and stick it next to the first one. Take a black sugar pearl and stick it in the middle.
- When you are ready to serve, take a slice of angel food cake and put it on a plate. Spoon frosting on top and let it drip down. Spoon some of the sugared berries around the cake and place a Smiling Strawberry on top. Enjoy!
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